thoughts on whaling

From: Orca Network (howard@orcanetwork.org)
Date: Tue May 20 2003 - 00:03:23 EDT

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    Mr. Garrett
    I'm doing a term paper on Whaling for my high school zoology class and i'm
    doing some research on how the people who are directly involved with marine
    biology feel. Could you tell me some of your personal feelings about the
    progress that has been made in the whaling effort. Also, after studying the
    history and current state of whaling, I begun to wonder what is the best
    thing that my peers and I can do to help the whale preserving effort. What
    would you recommend? Thank you for your time.

    Dustin Boothe

    I'm glad you asked for my personal feelings rather than a lot of
    statistics, because the statistics are bewildering even if you are very
    familiar with them, and I'm not. My feeling is that there has been
    tremendous progress in bringing awareness to a critical number of people
    globally about the need and the value of preserving the world's whale
    populations. On the other hand, it only takes a few small groups of people
    with some power within a few national governments for whaling fleets to
    wreak horrific carnage on the remaining whales. The IWC is effective only
    as long as all whaling nations adhere to its mandates. With Norway taking
    minke whales from the North Atlantic and Japan taking minkes from the South
    Pacific and Antarctic, a wide variety of smallere kills and pirate whalers,
    along with who knows what unreported other species, many whales are still
    being killed and that is very troubling.

    For advice on what you and your peers can do to help preserve whales, the
    first thing is to learn about the groups and organizations that are working
    to save whales, and support them if only with a message of appreciation.
    Beyond supporting those groups, however, my suggestion is that you learn
    about the whales themselves. Far more ancient than ourselves, radiated into
    unimaginable forms over millions of years, filling Earth's seas and
    adapting to live in every conceivable marine niche, whales have
    capabilities scarcely imagined by science or depicted by art or fable.
    We've only begun to see the wonders of whales. There's plenty there for you
    to seek and ponder, and that sense of mystery and curiosity is what makes
    the whales worth saving. Losing whales would be like losing music and art.
    If we hold them dear, we'll save them.

    Howard Garrett
    Orca Network
    Greenbank WA
    (360) 678-3451
    www.orcanetwork.org
    howard@orcanetwork.org



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